POST CAFFEINE REHAB Brendan digs into topics with Full Metal Ben, the Warlord Amanda and his sponsor, Dr. Drew. Lotta rambling diatribes in this episode, but eventually Brendan does manage to get around to talking about his Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. Heather comes on the show and off the air does a mic drop, puts both hands up in the air and proclaims “I DID AWESOME!” Brendan shakes his head a lot and tries to remember the days when doing a podcast about roleplaying games with all of his friends sounded like a GOOD idea. Are you still reading this? For chirstsake, listen to the show!
As a thought exercise, I thought it might be fun/harrowing to take a stab at how much money I’ve thrown down the bottomless, money hungry pit of the gaming industry. I need to break it out by type for any real accounting:
Board Games – I fancied myself a board gamer for a good while. I was regularly dropping $50-100 on the things. I still have probably twenty or so I’ve never even played. I told myself I could play them with the kids when they get older, but if I’m being honest that will never happen. I’m a compulsive hoarder. Rough guess? $2500 dropped here.
- Magic the Gathering – Like everyone else in the nineties I got sucked into the vortex that is Magic. It was like heroin. It was worse than heroin. At least heroin has the decency to be the sort of thing you lie to people about. I told people I played Magic. Hell, I was kind of proud of it. Honestly, I probably would have ended up sucking just as much dick if I had known that was an option. $2500 easily. The only thing that kept me from spending more was being a broke ass high school student. Luckily I punched out at the right time and recouped some of my losses. Hahahahahaha just kidding. I sold my cards for next to nothing and counted myself luckily to get out without sucking a dick.
- Vampire: The Eternal Struggle – When I wasn’t wasting time on Magic, it was Jyhad/Eternal Struggle. II was more practical here, buying complete boxes on ebay instead of feeding my addiction a booster at a time. I’ll call it $1000, though I think it was higher.
- Rage – Yes, I played Rage. Both versions. Shut up. I got into Rage when it was cheap. I could get boxes for under $50. Consequently I bought a lot of them, because it was a such a deal! I’ll say another $500 here.
Dice and Junk – Everyone needs peripherals. $500.
- Dungeons & Dragons – Look, I don’t even know. $1000? More? It feel like more. I compulsively collected 3, 3.5, and 4. I’m starting 5th edition because I can’t control myself. Don’t cry for me. I know I’m already lost.
- Star Wars – $500 or so. Fortunately Star Wars was never super popular. I got most of the books at a discount thanks to Amazon, and the Saga Edition was no where near as comprehensive with books as it could have been. I have thus far managed to avoid the latest iteration with multiple core books. Hooray for small victories.
- Classic World of Darkness – I don’t want to talk about. I don’t. Whatever it all cost, it was worth it. I have dozens of these books, and this is after getting rid of a bunch of them. $2000? $3000? I don’t care. I’d do it again. I’ll probably re buy some of the books I no longer have. I’ll get the 20th anniversary editions. I’ll suck a dick. I’ll suck twenty. Fifty. Line them up. It doesn’t matter.
- Chronicle of Darkness – I mostly stuck with CoD, Requiem, and Changeling here. It was still a lot of books. And now the second editions are coming it. I’ll call it $1500 and be done with it.
- Misc (Shadowrun, Cyperpunk, Eclipse Phase, CthulhuTech, one offs) – Lets say $750.
- Warhammer Fantasy – I managed to limit myself to one army in this game. One big, expensive army. The core box alone with a couple hundred, Factor in multiple editions. $750 conservatively.
- Warhammer 40,000 – Look, I did things. Things I’m not proud of. Things I don’t want to talk about. $2500, even though I know that is a lie. A damn lie. Because the truth is too hard to fathom. Games Workshop pimped my ass with this game, and at the time I loved it. I couldn’t get enough. I look back with shame. Yet I know the only thing that stopped me was not having enough time for it anymore.
- Warmachine – For a while I thought Warmachine was the antidote to the Games Workshop poison. Oh ho, how naive. It is a different flavored fruit from the same twisted vine. I spent $1000 on my Menoth army, and I never really got around to playing it.
- Misc (Anima, Starship Troopers, Reaper minis) – $500 probably. I don’t know. I still have most of these. Somewhere.
- Paints – $500. Modeling paint is damn expensive. I swear they make it from mermaid blood or something.
- Brushes – During my forays into miniature painting, I decided what was holding me back was brushes. Namely that I was using overpriced Games Workshop brushes, and not ludicrously expensive sable hair brushes with fucking unicorn horn handles or whatever bullshit they claimed. I dropped some cash on brushes and brush holders and brush conditioner and yak semen to give them sheen. My painting still sucks. Go figure. $1000.
If I’m being realistic it is probably close to $20,000. The price of a car. Not even a shitty a car. A decent car. The kind where the AC works and it doesn’t make that weird noise when you hit 60 miles per hour. A legit car.
I really shouldn’t have done this.
I first got started with table top gaming in the fifth grade. We started with Dungeons & Dragons. The blue box. A grade school chum of mine, whom I shall Dan because that was his name, introduced me to this strange world. Dan had two older brothers, and by older I mean we were 10 and they were 16 and 18. They had a good collection of rule books and games and we had nothing, because we were 10 and no one gives a shit about 10 year olds, especially in the 80s. Even a 10 year old scotch got pissed all over during that period. Hooray for the excesses of that era. I digress.
Dan’s brothers had a wonderful assortment of games. We spent hours digging through their collections and trying things out. The one thing I remember most from this time is the importance of rules. Dan and his siblings would drill into you how imperative it was that you played by the rules. That the rules were there for a reason and you were not to contradict them. The written word was sacrosanct. The intention of the game devs was as good as the word of God himself, handed down through the prophets and transcribed for us lowly mortals scratching in the dust and filth. As a Catholic, this resonated on deep level with me.
Dan’s brothers also used these games and rules to punish and torture our characters. Again, as a Catholic this resonated deeply with me. The scenarios they ran for us were brutal death traps for our low level characters. The world was naught but suffering and pain. Of course, their insanely leveled and richly rewarded characters breezed right through them. When it came time to dole out experience, they often passed our characters over because “they didn’t even do anything in that fight.” This capricious and arbitrary system of justice became a pattern during this time.
They also had Warhammer 40,000 and Battletech. When they allowed us to play those games with them, they became hilariously lopsided scenarios where their side was a wall of armor and I was commanding a handful of Space Marines trying to take out a Predator tank with a bolter. Battletech was a row of Atlas clan mechs against a similar number of light mechs with no modifications.
Interestingly, they refused to lay board games with us, I suspect because it would have forced a level playing field. It was months before I spent enough time with their books to figure out they had rigged the world against us. That while the rules were important, they also existed to ensure fairness, and they had been twisted to run counter to that intention. I recall a cold sort of anger at that realization, as the wheels turned in my tiny head. I would like to say I got my revenge on them. That I write this from a room in which their polished skulls gaze mournfully down upon me. The truth is less exciting. I simply stopped playing with them. For a gamer, not having people to play with can be the worst fate of all. Looking back, I really should have been asking the question why the fuck a 16 and an 18 year old wanted to hang out with a bunch of ten year olds. That is… really weird. Like… super weird.
What’s up muthafuckas?!
While you are all trolling the halls of Gen Con you may need some sweet-ass-sweet podcast talk to get you by. At least maybe for that drive home.
In this week’s episode Brendan and Ben are winding down from con season and the disastrous LepreCon while you guys are out there enjoying it’s zenith. They are joined by the Mysterious Jeff for the first half and then by their homie Keith in the second half. It’s our longest episode yet, and really it’s pretty not bad. Except for the technical issues we had recording Keith, that was terrible!
We talk about what we’ve been up to, what’s new with our favorite lines and the past, present and future of pulp fiction with our friend Keith Shaw.
Anyway, pull up a chair, crack a beer, paint some models, whatever. Here’s to episode 25!
Portrait of a playa: KB Shaw.
Here’s a link to not only one of my favorite comics about roleplaying, but really, one of my favorite comics ever. Here at Full Metal RPG we fucking love this thing. But it’s a joke people, I mean seriously. I’ve caught some blowback in the gamer community for handing these things out at events and using them as our card with our contact info.
I guess I forgot about that legendary gamer sense of humor.
Anyway, read on and enjoy! If you like what you see, check out the indie movie based on the tract. Also hilarious but in a much more self aware way.
In which sleep deprivation and a day of virtual mayhem combine to make everyone just a little bit giddy. Special guest stars Jim Miller, Warlord Amanda, Shadowsworn Adam, Richard Newby, and PhillyC! This one was a lot of fun to record.
Join in the fun at the Crit Hit Facebook group. Weirdos only. Neckbeards and squares forbidden.
oh boy…here we go.
Brendan and Ben get LepreCon’d! In which we learn an important lesson about the makeup of the gaming community and the atrocious lack of hygienic standards.
In which… Brendan and Ben return from the wastes. They have been exploring exaggerated landscapes. Exaggerated deserts. Exaggerated swamps. Those crazy forests where the trees have evil faces. They have battled. They have leveled up. And now they are back to lead the cult to new frontiers, new vistas. The greatest challenges are yet to come…
In which Brendan and Ben are joined by none other than Josh of the Wrecking Crew and their podcast, Podcast: the Wreckening. The three talk about the difference between rules light and rules heavy as opposed to crunchy vs. not crunchy.
Get with our homies at the internationally renown Wrecking Crew here:
In which Brendan and Ben are joined by Randy, a GM’s GM. Randy talks about the epic, long running game he has been crafting and the monster manual he is producing so that you can share some of his adventures at you table. Brendan needs more than just a protein shake after working-out and he and Ben find a way to make it all about the Kickstarters! Yea!